on the character of American women
[Ingersoll wrote Inchiquin’s Letters as a defense of the American character against its foreign and domestic critics. TGW]
Adultery is rare, and seduction seldom practiced
[The dealings between men and women] in some countries, is confined, by cold and haughty customs, almost to the circles of consanguinity; in others, from opposite causes, it is unrestrained, voluptuous, and depraved. In the United States, it is free, chaste, and honorable. Women are said to afford a type of the state of civilization. In savage life they are slaves. At the middle era of refinement, they are companions. With its excess they become mistresses and slaves again. North America is now at that happy mean, when well educated and virtuous women enjoy the confidence of their husbands, the reverence of their children, and the respect of society, which is chiefly indebted to them for its tone and embellishments.